Giants will settle for elite wide receiver prospect if they can’t land a quarterback

LSU Tigers wide receiver Malik Nabers (8) (New York Giants draft target)
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are gearing up for a crucial first round in next Thursday’s draft, where they are connected with nearly every top quarterback and several top receivers.

Giants’ Draft Strategy and Potential Picks

Currently, the Giants are contemplating several strategies: selecting J.J. McCarthy from Michigan, making a bold move for Drake Maye from UNC, or opting for the best available receiver. General Manager Joe Schoen revealed last week that he has received numerous inquiries about potentially trading back, which could become a viable option if the top quarterbacks are already taken.

NCAA Football: Duke at North Carolina, drake maye, new york giants
Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants might also seize an opportunity to acquire Maye by offering future draft picks if the New England Patriots are open to moving down. Holding the 6th overall pick, Schoen could offer a blue-chip prospect to a team looking to trade down rather than dropping into the mid-first round, where talent notably diminishes.

However, according to Connor Hughes from SNY, the Giants are seriously considering Malik Nabers for the 6th overall pick if they miss out on a quarterback.

“Nabers, multiple sources told SNY, is a player the Giants covet. Most around the league expect him to be New York’s pick if they can’t secure a quarterback, which is becoming more and more unlikely by the day.”

LSU Tigers wide receiver Malik Nabers (8) celebrates his 40-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter against the Georgia State Panthers at Tiger Stadium
Nov 18, 2023; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Malik Nabers (8) celebrates his 40-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter against the Georgia State Panthers at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Dobbins-USA TODAY Sports

The Case for Malik Nabers

Nabers would be a stellar pick for the Giants, a franchise that has struggled to find a true WR1 for the last five years. Last season, this 20-year-old receiver amassed 1,568 yards and 14 touchdowns, boasting a 69.5% reception rate and only a 5.3% drop rate. Nabers excels in every facet and stands out as one of the best after-the-catch receivers in this draft class, generating 589 yards after the catch in 2023 at an average of 6.6 yards per reception.

In terms of receiving depth, Nabers earned elite grades across the board. On passes thrown 20+ yards downfield, he caught 65.5% of those targeted to him, accumulating 624 yards and nine touchdowns.

While the Giants continue to search for a long-term quarterback solution, even Daniel Jones could leverage Nabers’ talents to an extent. However, drafting Nabers might delay addressing the quarterback situation, especially as the Giants aim to move beyond Jones’ contract after the 2024 season.

As draft day approaches, Schoen faces a significant decision that could define his legacy with the Giants. Although the team’s long-term focus is to transition from Jones, securing a top-tier WR1 like Nabers would fulfill a critical need on their extensive list.

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